2018 is considered by many to be the ‘year of the electric car’ a tipping point in EV uptake. If you manage a fleet, the business case alone should be enough to make you consider EVs.

The best way to get a ‘petrol head’ to change their mind about electric vehicles (EVs) is to get them to drive one. The best way to get a company’s finance director to consider electric cars is to show them the costs savings.

DOWNLOAD: A detailed report on EV uptake in Ireland.

 

Electric cars are clean, competitively priced and most of the best manufacturers produce an electric marque. There are grants to buy EVs. According to the SEAI driving an electric vehicle reduces transportation costs by 74% (compared to a new diesel car) and drivers can also enjoy the lowest motor tax rate of €120.

What’s on offer?

EVs come in three guises. The ESB’s website gives a good overview of the types of electric cars available:
1. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) are vehicles powered by one or several electric engines supplied by electrical energy stored in batteries that have been charged in the electrical network.
2. Extended-Range Electric Vehicles (E-REVs) are vehicles of similar characteristics to BEVs where traction is only electrical. However, they also include an internal combustion engine functioning as a generator to charge batteries, increasing the vehicle’s autonomy.
3. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) are vehicles that combine an internal combustion engine (ICE) with batteries and an electric motor too. Both engines power the vehicle, so it has two external sources of energy: the fuel for the thermal engine and the electrical network for batteries.

Five tried and tested popular EVs

BMW i3 
The i3 has been described as charming and fun with a seriously good extended battery range. 
Price as tested, €51,710 (inclusive of grants and rebates). The range starts at €36,600.
Power: 170bhp.
0-100km/h: 8.1 seconds.
Top speed: 150km/h.
CO2 emissions: 13g/km.
Motor tax: €170 per annum.
Verdict: The best electric car this side of a Tesla. Not cheap, but charming, fun and with seriously practical performance and range.

Hyundai Ioniq 
The Ioniq will be available in three different powertrains, none of which are diesel. You’ll have a choice of Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid, and fully electric. Read the reviews.
Price starting at €28,495.
Power 120PS.
0-100/kmh 10.2 seconds.
CO2 emissions 0g/km.
Motor tax €180.
Verdict: Pleasant and quiet on the road but not the prettiest of the bunch.

Nissan LEAF
The new LEAF will be launched in February 2018 and looks and feels like a larger car. Read the review
Price starting at €21,490.
Power 109 BHP.
0-100/kmh 11.5 seconds.
CO2 emissions 0g/km.
Motor tax €120.
Verdict: The most popular electric car in Ireland at the moment, it has a practical interior, is easy to drive and offers real saving on running costs.

Renault Zoe 
A supermini with low running costs and plenty of other perks from an electric vehicle. A review is here
Price starting at €27,490.
Power 92 BHP.
0-100/kmh 13.2 seconds.
CO2 emissions 0g/km.
Motor tax €120.
Verdict: A stylish electric car with a good driving range.

Tesla model s

Tesla Model S 
This is no ordinary car. It stands out from the crowd with a sleek design and appealing interior. Review here
Price starting at €168,850.
Power 603 BHP.
0-100/kmh 2.7 seconds.
CO2 emissions 0g/km.
Motor tax €120.
Verdict: Hold onto your hat. 

Need more information? The team at Irish EV Owners created an excellent spreadsheet which covers everything from range, battery charging, fast charging and cost. Get it here.

Article by Daniel Heaslip. 

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